Who would have thought that Mark Hughes could change Stoke City into a proper football-playing team rather than a bunch of thugs fighting to stay in the Premier League? Well it looks like he has done it, although Shaquiri will not be playing tomorrow the Potters have won their last two games without him.
Another thing in Mark’s favour is that Stoke have also recently beaten both Man United and Man City at home, and whatever team Stoke put out they always manage to give Arsenal a tough game at the Britannia. Hughes is fully expecting his team to get a result although he accepts that Arsenal are rightly the favourites for the League title. “Arsenal are top on merit, and of all of the top teams in the league this season they are the ones who are actually playing like a top, top team,” Hughes said on the official Stoke website.
“To be perfectly honest the rest have slipped away a little bit and have been uncharacteristic in terms of what you would expect from them.
“Arsenal have done really well though, gone about their business superbly and are playing some fantastic stuff at the moment.
“You sense that they see a real opportunity this year, so we are under no illusions as to how difficult the game will be for us on Sunday.
“We always tend to do well against them at home though, the atmosphere is always special – a real crackle to the crowd – and we seem to relish that.”
“We have a good record against them at home, and I am convinced that if we can play to the levels that we are capable of, then we can enjoy another productive afternoon this time round.”
Hughes actually sounds very eloquent and he has been very respectful to us despite our well-documented problems in the past, but I still hope that we go out and murder them on Sunday!